Chapter Twenty-Three…

 

Chapter 23: Snow.

You guessed it. I was having trouble thinking up a title, hahaha.

By the way, this is a looooong chapter. Just thought you should know that…

Ah, Christmas in Riverview. Crisp white snow on the ground, flakes fluttering from the sky, brightly lit trees in the neighbors’ windows…

As Lila put the finishing touches on the tree, festive music played on the stereo; wherever the stereo was.

♫ ♫ Feliz Navidad; Feliz Navidad. Prospero año y Felicidad. I want to wish you a merry Christmas, I want to wish you a merry Christmas… ♫ ♫  

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Lila droned. Christmas time was always her favorite, and now that she was pregnant it made it seem all that more special, as though something weren’t missing.

Audrey looked down, gazing at all the gifts. Then her eyes lifted up to the tree, admiring it.

                                                              …

Lila and Audrey stepped to the side so Lila could check out her eight-months-pregnant tummy.

“Mom, it feels so weird,” Lila said, fascinated. “I can’t believe this will be me in just a few months.”

“I can’t believe it either,” Audrey agreed. “My first grandchild will be born 4 1/2 months after my son.”

“Isn’t it weird how they’ll grow up together?” Lila said, as her mother nodded.

For the next hour, Roger stared at the tree. He’d chugged a little too much eggnog earlier.

After her mother and Roger went to bed, a soft knock came at the door. Thinking it was Nick (or hoping), Lila rushed to the door.

When she opened it, indeed she saw Nick… about fifty years into the future. What was this? The ghost of Christmas future??

“Hi. I’m Robert, Nick’s father,” he said. “May I speak to you for a moment?”

“Uh, yeah,” she said. Nick’s father’s sudden appearance was shocking.

“I wanted to apologize for Doris’ behavior,” he began after they sat on the loveseat. “I’ve been wanting to speak to you for a while now, but never had the— *ahem* balls, if you will.”

Lila’s eyes widened.

“Um, that’s okay Mr. Moore. I—I got over it a f–few weeks ago.”

Old dudes have balls? Ick.

“Doris has been crazy for as long as I can remember. She was like that when I married her about thirty years ago,” he rasped; then spent the next several minutes coughing and hacking up a loogie (not sure how to spell that one. It wasn’t in the dictionary).

Did Lila love Nick enough to spend thirty years with him? Until he acts and looks just like Robert?!

“You know,” he began, “I can understand what my son sees in you.”  He leered at her with traces of lust in his eyes…

Erm, yeah. Uh, thanks.” I guess old dudes have balls after all. Her eyes shifted to the sofa,

the bed now hidden for Lila couldn’t stand to see it anymore. Every time she glanced at it, images of Nick ******* her popped into her head. And now, apparently his father also wished to **** her.

“You mind if I put my arm around you?” he rasped, his arm enclosing her without awaiting an answer. Horror filled the crevices of her heart, and rose to her throat like so much bile.

“Robert, err–Mr. Moore, I thought you came over to apologize, not to—to hit on me,” she protested.

Gently, she removed his arm from around her shoulder.

“I sorta think you should leave now,” she said, rising from the sofa.

“Good-bye Mr. Moore,” Lila chimed. “It was nice meeting you.” She forced a smile, but couldn’t manage to look at him.

He grumbled something, but she couldn’t hear what he said. His shoes crunched through the snow, following his own tracks from earlier. And the snow had been so pristine…

Lila sighed with relief.

That was the weirdest twenty minutes of my entire life.

Lila went to town the next day.

She ate lunch at the diner and then headed for the book store to buy a pregnancy book. She also considered buying another gift for her mother.

When she saw Nick, a pair of wings erupted from her heart and threatened to take flight… hehe.

He lingered next to an enormous snow drift, as though unsure of where to go; not unlike their relationship.

“Hi Nick,” she said walking toward him.

“Hey Lila.” His tone was less than enthused…

“So how are you doing?” she asked.

 “Oh, you know. Gettin’ by,” he said. His smile seemed forced. Then his eyes lowered to her tummy. “I see you’re growing. How far along are you now?”

“About 14 weeks. Do you—do you want to touch my stomach?” she offered, feeling silly for having to ask the father of her baby to feel her tummy. They must have the strangest relationship out of all humankind.

Without hesitation, Nick knelt down.

His hand glided over her stomach, creating a tingling sensation beneath his fingers.

I love you so much, Nick… sometimes I hate you so much, but usually I love you…

“Can you feel it move yet?” he asked.

“Nah, not yet. Maybe soon though.”

Quietly, he stood up.

“I haven’t been totally honest with you,” he said.

“What do you mean?” That old familiar sinking feeling confronted her.

“Auna left me,” he muttered.

Oh, no. She finally left him for Dr. Clod. How could I be so selfish as to not warn him that might happen?!

Wait a minute; don’t jump to conclusions just yet, she subsequently thought.

“Oh, no. I’m so sorry, Nick.”

“Don’t be. I’m not sorry she left, I’m only sorry she took Travis with her.”

Lila looked down, not knowing what to say.

Was there a woman near them wearing a sleeveless shirt? Brrrr… !

“I also think she’s using again,” he said.

“Nick, you can’t let her have Travis if she’s using drugs again!” Lila said. “You have to take her to court! Fight her!”

“What if I’m tired of fighting?”

“No, don’t say that. You can’t give up. Think of Travis,” she said.

“I know you’re right. But how can I prove she’s still using?”

“What makes you think she’s using?” she asked, curious.

“I’m good friends with Auna’s shrink. He told me, in so many words, that she admitted it to him.”

“Really? Does Auna’s shrink happen to work at Riverview General?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Because maybe you could subpoena him to court, and get him to tell the judge about Auna’s relapse,” Lila said.

“What are you?” He chuckled. “An attorney?”

She shrugged. “It’s just a suggestion.”

“And a good one at that. But I’m not sure it’ll fly since anything Auna tells her shrink is confidential.”

Lila gazed at Nick, as a flurry of thoughts and ideas raced through her mind…

Confidential, yes. At least until I tell Dr. Clod that unless he talks Auna’s shrink into testifying on Nick’s behalf, I’ll tell Nick about Clod’s indiscretion with Auna; because I know Nick can use his clout to get Dr. Clopper fired from the hospital. After all, wasn’t Auna once Clopper’s patient as well? How unethical is that?

It’s blackmail… domino-style. And everyone knows how doctors like to kiss each other’s asses. They don’t like huge scandals, and they usually try to protect each other. Therefore, likely the shrink would testify just to placate Dr. Clod and save his rep.

I might only be 24 years old and pretty, but I’m not stupid.

 

“I have an idea that might work to get him to testify, but I don’t want to go into detail just yet. So just give me some time to work it out.”

“Uh, okay.”

They embraced.

Then kissed as the snow softly fell around them.

“By the way,” Lila said as she began to leave. “Your father visited me last night to apologize about your mother.”

“Oh yeah? Did he hit on you?” Nick asked, his lips twitching into a smile.

Lila knowingly smiled back; then strolled away.

Two hours later, Lila got a call. She looked at the ID and it read: Montgomery Darius. She was a little surprised, since she hadn’t heard from him in over a week.

She clicked on her cell.

“Yeah?”

“Hi Lila. I was just wondering if you’d like to go to the Museum with me tonight?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Great. I’ll pick you up at seven o’clock. See you then.”

“Okay, I’ll be looking forward to it. Bye.”

Half an hour before he arrived, Lila’s nerves got the better of her. She vomited right after taking out the trash. She almost expected her radioactive puke to melt the snow and burn a hole into the ground.

At the museum, Darius took her to the planetarium.

Lila gazed at the overhead stars, awestruck by the constellations’ beauty.

Afterward, they quietly ate a late dinner.

The entire time, Lila’s mind clouded with Nick’s words from a few weeks before. ‘Why would Darius be interested in a woman pregnant with another man’s baby? It isn’t normal. It really is creepy, Lila. You need to watch out for him.’

She could not get those thoughts out of her mind. Thusly, thanks to Nick, her date was essentially ruined.

“So… are you still seeing Nick?” he asked.

Oh, no. Here we go. She wondered when that card would come into play. After all, Nick already used it when he ‘suggested’ she stop seeing Darius. It was only a matter of time before Darius used it.

“As a matter of fact, yes. I just saw him today in town. Why?”

“Lila, why don’t you just let the guy go? I mean, he hurt you once, he’ll hurt you again.”

“You think I don’t know that?” she said. “My God, if I were that stupid, I would’ve moved back in with him the first time he asked. And what makes this your business anyway?”

“You’re right. It isn’t any of my business. I’m sorry.” His looked down at the floor and sighed.

“Darius, I really like you, but I’m in love with Nick. There’s nothing I can do about it, it’s not like a faucet that I can just switch off,” she said.

“Alright, I get it. I said I was sorry. I just don’t want to see you get hurt again, that’s all.” Darius seemed pretty hurt himself, and a little angry as well.

Without saying anything further, she spun around and dashed toward the restroom. She was struck by an irresistible urge to escape, and wanted nothing more than to get away from Darius.

Lila washed her hands without having used the toilet. Once they were squeaky clean, she washed them again.

My God. I’m losing my mind, she thought.

Suddenly the door swung open and Darius meandered into the bathroom. The… women’s… bathroom…

“Darius, this isn’t funny. What if someone walks in?” she said.

“Who’s gonna walk in? This place is dead.”

She shuddered from that analogy, but wasn’t sure why. Maybe Darius was, indeed, finally giving her the creeps… and being alone with him inside the ladies’ restroom didn’t help.

He paused and stared at her. Lila’s heart began to pound. Was it from fear? Or something else?

He lunged forward and threw his arms around her.

Then his lips met hers in a kiss.

…a long, drawn-out, hot and sexy kiss.

Her heart raced against his chest.

Darius backed her up to the sink. Then he placed his hands under her rear and lifted her.

Finding herself straddling the sink, she stared at him in disbelief. His eyes lowered to her thighs, which he parted and then stood between them.

She watched his hand linger near her knee; then his fingers danced up her inner thigh.

They began to make out again, but a loud clatter interrupted the session.

A camera fell from one of Darius’ pockets. Lila peered down at it; then she glanced up at Darius with accusation.

So Nick was right. Darius is just a creepy pervert who wanted to sneak around and take naked pics of me, and do God knows what with them…

She slid down from the sink.

“Well, aren’t you going to pick up your camera?” she muttered.

He bent down to retrieve it.

“Lila, it’s not what you think,” he said. “I swear.”

Her ears falling deaf to anything he said, she turned and left.

Outside, the sheer whiteness of the snow blinded her as tears stung her eyes.

                                                          ****

Stay ‘tuned’ for chapter 24, and thanks for reading! 😀

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6 Responses to “Chapter Twenty-Three…”

  1. Wow finally some juicy blackmailing lol, what a great way to work it into the story too 🙂

    Is Darius really a perv? or does he really like Lila, even I’m not sure now lol. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter, I absolutely love your story 🙂

    • LOL, thanks Kim! I try to make it interesting… 😀 Well, it’s probably not exactly what you think, regarding Darius. You’ll just have to wait and see!!! hehehehe. XD anyhow, I’m so glad ya like my stories! Your legacy also rocks!!!

      I know you’re also probably itchin’ for Lila and Nick to get back together, but it probably wouldn’t be good for the storyline because I have too much planned for them at the moment. Plus, every good romance/love story has to have some separation between the main characters… But your patience MIGHT pay off in the future, lol. I can’t say anymore about that! 😛

  2. I LOL’d at the radioactive puke bit. xD I love your planetarium pictures. Such a creative use of that science dome!

    One of the best parts of romance novels is always the struggle of the main characters to overcome all the obstacles to their relationship. I think you’re doing a great and very entertaining job of telling this story. Keep it up! 😀 As always, I’m anxiously awaiting your next chapter.

    • Hi Pentameter! Yeah, I don’t know why EAxis has to make Sims’ puke green, and when they puke outside it looks like it’s glowing or something! Crazy. Anyhow, thanks! I’m glad ya liked the planetarium pics! It’s just a huge building with that dome thingy planted on top. But it always reminded me of a planetarium because of the shape. 🙂

      Yeah, I agree with that. And I DO want the main characters to get together, trust me! But yeah, it would probably be murderous to the storyline. Like I told Kim, MAYBE they’ll get back together eventually, lol. I’m trying to keep up the ‘good’ work on telling the story, sometimes it’s hard to get ideas or I think I’ve ran out of good ideas. Thankfully, tonight I just thought of another good one, lol. XD

      Thank y’all again for the compliments, I really appreciate them. 😀 plus it’s good encouragement to keep going! maybe I’ll wind up with 70 chapters, who knows! One time I kept going with a Sims 2 story, all the way up to 60-something chapters. LOL.

  3. I loved it as always! All of the characters are so unique and interesting, it’s hard to think what else can happen in Lila’s life… but I’m sure something will 🙂

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